HISD celebrates community volunteers at 53rd annual VIPS Awards Ceremony

Each year, HISD celebrates its Volunteers in Public Schools with the annual VIPS Awards Breakfast Ceremony. This year, on April 25, volunteers including parents, teachers, community members, and students gathered to celebrate their accomplishments with a breakfast catered by HISD’s Nutrition Services Department.

Najah Callander, Senior Executive Director of External Engagement with HISD’s Family and Community Engagement Department, welcomed guests with a sample of AI-generated jokes in reference to HISD’s goal of harnessing more AI technology and spoke on the importance of volunteers in HISD schools.

“Volunteers are so important to our work at HISD because we know that we can’t do it alone,” said Callander. “Being able to join forces with parents and grandparents, community volunteers to help us to enhance the work that’s happening on campus and to make things possible for our students is of utmost importance. We’re so excited to have more than 10,000 people linking arms with us and giving more than 200,000 hours of service. We know how big of a deal it is to students to see community and to see their families in their schools, and we’re excited to celebrate them today.”

2024 VIPS Award winners:

Youth Volunteer (K-12) of the Year
Angel Castillo

Charles Harding Senior (55+) Volunteer of the Year
Tony Tuckwiller

Parent Volunteer of the Year
Carra Moroni

Parent Organization of the Year
Carrillo Elementary School PTO

Special Recognition Innovator Volunteer of the Year
Trees for Houston

Jean Davis Myers Volunteer Service Award
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

The theme of this year’s VIPS Awards Breakfast was “Celebrating Champions of Change.” Each award winner is a shining example of change-makers in action, like student volunteer Angel Castillo.

“I feel like it’s important for students to volunteer so they can further involve themselves in their communities,” said Castillo, a senior at North Houston Early College High School and Youth Volunteer of the Year award winner. Castillo, nominated by his teachers, has worked with the City of Houston to serve his community and act as an advocate for his fellow students.

For more information on HISD’s Family and Community Engagement Department and their current projects, visit the FACE website. For more information on becoming an HISD volunteer, click here